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What to Include in a Draftsman Resume

There is certain information that a hiring manager looks for in a resume, and that information should be clearly identified, concisely written, and even aesthetically presented. As a draftsman, you're already an expert at visualizing. So do your bes to imagine a resume-weary hiring manager who will cringe at the thought of reading a 4-page resume with large blocks of print but will be grateful to read a resume with an appropriate amount of white space and a logical presentation.

The two resume formats used most often are the chronological style, which is the most common and most familiar to hiring managers, and the functional style, which focuses more on accomplishments that work history.

The chronological style has five basic sections, and in the work experience section, each previous job is a sub-heading comprised of the company name/location, period of employment, job title, and listed duties/accomplishments. The recommended sections in this resume style are:

  • Contact info (name/phone/email)
  • Resume summary
  • Work experience
  • Skills
  • Education

The functional style works best for those with employment gaps or who are hoping for a new career path. The advantage to this style is that you'll have the opportunity to list your achievements in an モAccomplishmentsヤ section before listing previous jobs in the work experience section. You can use this opportunity to let them see you as part of their team. The recommended sections for this style are:
  • Contact info (name/phone/email)
  • Resume summary
  • Accomplishments (new section)
  • Work experience
  • Skills
  • Education

If you refer once again to the draftsman resume samples, you'll be able to see how each style is written, and you may even find examples of a combination style. There's no absolute right or wrong way to write a resume, but a little research will set the right tone.

How to Write the Draftsman Resume Summary Statement

This first section of your resume is of critical importance because if the potential employer is unimpressed, they may not read further to see all the wonderful things you can do.

A resume summary should be no more than three sentences long, but each sentence should be well crafted and strong enough to pull the reader in and make them want to know more.

Take a look at the resume summaries from the draftsman resume samples you've already identified. Some will be better than others, and when you find a really good one, ask yourself what makes it so strong.

There are two things to remember when writing your summary. First, in addition to using action verbs to describe what you do, try to quantify the results in a way that benefited the employer. Second, save the first-person pronouns like I and we for your cover letter. In this instance, it's okay to begin a sentence with a verb.

In addition to the draftsman resume samples you have access to, following are two well-crafted resume summaries representing different industry sectors:

Certified architectural draftsman with over 15 years experience using CAD systems to produce architectural renderings as guidelines for construction. Identified ill-fitting elements on two projects before work began, saving a potential monetary loss of tens of thousands of dollars in addition to time lost. Experience with both commercial and residential structures. Was often requested by the architects because of quality of work.

Piping draftsman with over 10 years experience in the oil & gas industry preparing complex offshore/onshore piping systems. Acted a primary troubleshooter, identifying potential operations problems. Able to develop isometrics from orthographic drawings, and assisted engineers in resolving piping design issues as a result of extensive experience with 2D and 3D modeling software. Five years field experience.

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How to Write the Draftsman Work Experience Section

At this point, you should know what resume style works best for you. If you need to compare the two again, refer to the draftsman resume samples you've already identified. If you have consistent employment and are following a traditional career path, the chronological style is probably a good fit. You've already written your summary, so now it's time to be specific about your previous employment and how you made a difference at each job.

The formatting is simple. Each job is a sub-heading that includes the company name, location, your period of employment, and your job title. Beneath each job, take the time to craft 3-6 bullet points that emphasize your accomplishments. As you write them, keep in mind that you want to mirror the qualifications or experience required on the employer's job description. Using action verbs and measurable results, you can make the right impression.

For a draftsman who hopes to transition from one industry sector to another, or who has done intermittent freelance work, the functional style is a viable option that will allow you to focus on accomplishments rather than previous employers. This is where the new section called Accomplishments should be inserted, just before the Work Experience section. By listing 6-8 bullet points that highlight your quantifiable achievements without linking them to specific employers, you'll have the opportunity to sell yourself based on what you've done rather than who you did it for.

Once you've polished your accomplishments, you can move on to the now simplified work experience section which, because the details have already been listed, will be a simple list of previous employment.

Action Verbs to Include in Your Draftsman Work Experience Section

As you describe your accomplishments in the work experience section, create an image of you doing the job the potential employer wants to fill. By referring to the job description for their requirements, you can give them what they ask for, and by scanning draftsman resume samples for action verbs, you'll be able to tell your story more vividly. Show, don't tell. Here are some examples of action verbs that fit your industry:

  • Convert
  • Design
  • Detail
  • Prepare
  • Create
  • Collaborate
  • Track
  • Control
  • Draw
  • Produce
  • Model
  • Assist
  • Perform
  • Advise
  • Store
  • Detail
  • Calculate
  • Draft
  • Develop
  • Consult

How to Write the Draftsman Skills Section

There's no single right way to present your skills, but logically, skills can be divided into categories. Technical and interpersonal are two possible categories, but don't feel compelled to stick to these if you have other delineations that better represent your skills. If creativity is one of your strengths, be sure to include it.

Computer skills, and there are many that draftsmen can claim, should be listed under technical skills. If you have a long list of software programs, first, go back to the job description, and list whatever skills the employer has identified first. You want them to see the candidate they're looking for. If a single-column list takes up too much of the page, consider formatting like this:

  • Computer software: CAD, AUTOCAD, CATIA, SOLIDWORKS....
  • Mathematical formulation: Algebra, geometry, calculus...
  • Design: Creativity, visualization, and traditional methods using drafting pencils and T-squares...
  • Technical skills: Surveying, measurements, mechanical drafting, architectural drawing...
  • Written communication: Able to produce clearly written documents for other professionals that present an image in written language.
  • Other skills: Able to take advice while working closely with architects, meet deadlines, and spot potential problems before they become costly mistakes.

While technical skills are important for a draftsman, no man is an island, and you need to show you work well with peers, superiors, clients, and other parties interested in any given project. Tact, clear verbal and written communication, and willingness to adapt are critical.

If you want more ideas for the formatting of your skills section, refer to the draftsman resume samples to identify a style that suits you.

How to Write the Draftsman Education Section

Draftsman are generally required to have an associate's degree, some college, or technical school training, but before you list your highest level of education, make sure you at least meet the requirements identified on the employer's job description. Once you know you have the right educational requirements, you can list them simply, with your highest level of achievement first. All the employer needs to know is the name of the school attended, school location, and degree obtained.

You can refer to draftsman resume samples for formatting ideas, but you might want to include a sub-heading for Certifications if you have any. Certification by the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) may not be a job requirement, but it could prove to be an advantage in a competitive situation. If you don't have certification, beginning the process will enable you to honestly indicate it in your education section, as long as it's labeled in progress.

A possible third category would be Memberships, which would include membership in the American Design Drafting Association or other industry-related groups, including local user-groups.
TIP: Need a cover letter? Click here to view our Draftsman cover letters.

Do I Need to Worry About Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Yes you do. You never know which potential employers use an ATS, so it's best to prepare each resume submission to get past the formidable automated gatekeeper.

The systems are programmed to count keywords identified by the employer, and those keywords are usually prominent in the job description. When you use their own words, you'll get past the system so an actual human being can read your resume and see you as the ideal candidate. These systems have been known to reduce the number of resumes received by as much as 75 percent before the remaining 25 percent are actually viewed by recruiters or hiring managers.

They're also easily addled by embedded tables, graphics, and even headers and footers. You may be capable of putting together an impressive document with fancy fonts and elaborate formatting, but you'll only succeed in confusing the system and having your resume rejected.<b

Should I Include References in my Draftsman Resume

The only mention of references on your resume should be that they're available upon request. You won't see them listed on any of the draftsman resume samples for a number of reasons. First, they take up valuable resume space, because it's important to keep your resume to 1-2 pages. Also, there are advantages to having the potential employer request your references:

  • You'll know for sure that they're interested in you.
  • You can contact your references and let them know they'll be receiving a call.
  • You can ask them to let you know how it went and what kind of questions were asked.

You should have 3-4 references comprised of previous employers, clients, and managers, and make sure you've gotten their approval before you put them on your list.

Draftsman Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid

    • If you've indicated in your skills section that you have good written communication skills, your resume should reflect them. Don't be sloppy about your grammar or choice of words. You can't just say you write well. You need to actually do it.
    • You may have had an unpleasant work environment at a previous job, but don't complain about it in your resume or blame the employer for your lack of advancement. A potential employer doesn't want to hire someone who comes in with a negative attitude.
    • Proofreading is critical, and you can't just read it over once and consider it done. It helps to have a friend read it before you send it out. They'll see typos and grammatical mistakes you've missed.
    • Keep your resume to 1-2 pages, even if you feel you have more to say. A concisely written resume demonstrates you ability to focus and prioritize. After all, you need to save something for your interview.

Job Prospects in the Draftsman Industry

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected average growth for all occupations from the period 2012 to 2022 is 11 percent. Employment of draftsmen for the same period is expected to vary by specialty.

Architectural and civil drafters are projected to show little change in employment. While new construction projects will create demand, the very efficiencies derived from CADD and building information modeling (BIM) will reduce the need.

Electrical and electronics drafter employment opportunities are projected to grow 10 percent. As mentioned above, the continued increase of electrical system designs in buildings, cars, and other devices is tempered by the efficiencies of new software and tools.

Employment of mechanical drafters is expected to decline because of the slow growth of manufacturing industries. Job prospects are best in large manufacturing hubs.

Opportunities are greater for those with building information modeling (BIM) and product data management (PDM) proficiency.